Big Brother goes digital with IP CCTV

CCTV camera

Half of city councils have moved their CCTV to IP systems, letting more real-time applications be used by police and other government agencies.

According to numbers obtained by network firm Telindus via a Freedom of Information Request, half of city councils have digitised some of their CCTV with a third doing so over the past four years.

Telindus suggested IP-based cameras allow police to use real-time applications, such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition, and to get up-to-date photos on their mobile computers.

"With today's technological advancements, security and peace of mind should be on the council's terms rather than at the mercy of outdated technology," said Mark Hutchinson, managing director of Telindus, in a statement.

"It is clear that we are on the verge of a digital switchover comparable to that in the television space," he added.

The UK has the highest rate of CCTV cameras in the Western world, with over four million of the devices watching streets, public transport and more. Such coverage has been the subject of much privacy debate, especially as new tech such as talking cameras or those that can 'hear' have been trialled.